Phoenix’s Operation Gun Crime Crackdown extended after nearly 1,200 firearms seized

Oct 5, 2022, 11:03 AM
(City of Phoenix Photos) Flare gun modified to fire a 9mm round. (City of Phoenix Photos) Cartridge of a flare gun modified to fire a 9mm round. (City of Phoenix Photos) Conversion parts that allow handguns to fire automatically. (City of Phoenix Photos)

PHOENIX – Law enforcement agencies in Phoenix are extending Operation Gun Crime Crackdown after nearly 1,200 firearms were taken off the streets during the pilot program’s first three months.

The Phoenix Police Department said Wednesday it had seized 1,181 guns that were related to a crime or in the hands of prohibited possessors since the operation started July 5.

In addition, 1,114 individuals were arrested as part of the program, which is a collaboration among the Phoenix Police Department; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“We’ve taken a lot of guns off the street, so, now is not the time to let up,” Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan said in a press release. “In fact, it’s time to double down and extend Operation Gun Crime Crackdown for at least another month.”

When the operation was announced in June, the city said homicides with firearms were up 45% this year over the same time last year and aggravated assaults with guns were up 23%.

“This is a priority for me. I look forward to Chief Sullivan’s plans to expand this program and address violent crime, including gun crime, in a comprehensive way that covers the entire city,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release.

The program aims to reduce gun crimes by getting firearms out of the hands of people who can’t legally have them.

It includes a tip line for community members to report information about illegal gun possession. Reports can be made at 602-644-5805 or through an online portal.

The ATF has also funded billboards targeting gun crimes near three Phoenix intersections: Thomas Road/29th Avenue, Indian School Road/38th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road/35th Avenue.

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Phoenix’s Operation Gun Crime Crackdown extended after nearly 1,200 firearms seized